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The Bells

by
Edgar Allan Poe


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I

Hear the sledges with the bells ---

Silver bells !

What a world of merriment their melody foretells !

How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,

In the icy air of night !

While the stars that oversprinkle

All the heavens, seem to twinkle

With a crystalline delight:

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells

From the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells ---

From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
 

II

Hear the mellow wedding-bells ---

Golden bells !

What a world of happiness their harmony foretells !

Through the balmy air of night

How they ring out their delight ! ---

From the molten-golden notes,

And all in tune,

What a liquid ditty floats

To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats

On the moon !

Oh, from out the sounding cells,

What a gush of euphony voluminously wells !

How it swells !

How it dwells

On the Future ---  how it tells

Of the rapture that impels

To the swinging and the ringing

Of the bells, bells, bells ---

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells ---

To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells !
 

III

Hear the loud alarum bells ---

Brazen bells !

What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells !

In the startled ear of night

How they scream out their affright !

Too much horrified to speak,

They can only shriek, shriek,

Out of tune,

In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,

In a mad expostulation which the deaf and frantic fire,

Leaping higher, higher, higher,

With a desperate desire,

And a resolute endeavor

Now --- now to sit, or never,

By the side of the pale-faced moon.

Oh, the bells, bells, bells !

What a tale their terror tells

Of Despair !

How they clang, and clash, and roar !

What a horror they outpour

On the bosom of the palpitating air !

Yet the ear, it fully knows,

By the twanging

And the clanging,

How the danger ebbs and flows;

Yet the ear distinctly tells,

In the jangling

And the wrangling,

How the danger sinks and swells,

By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells ---

Of the bells ---

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells ---

In the clamor and the clangor of the bells !
 

IV

Hear the tolling of the bells ---

Iron bells !

What a world of solemn thought their monody compels !

In the silence of the night,

How we shiver with affright

At the melancholy menace of their tone !

For every sound that floats

From the rust within their throats

Is a groan.

And the people --- ah, the people ---

They that dwell up in the steeple,

All alone,

And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,

In that muffled monotone,

Feel a glory in so rolling

On the human heart a stone ---

They are neither man nor woman ---

They are neither brute nor human ---

They are Ghouls:

And their king it is who tolls: ---

And he rolls, rolls, rolls,

Rolls

A pæan from the bells !

And his merry bosom swells

With the pæan of the bells !

And he dances, and he yells;

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the pæan of the bells ---

Of the bells: ---

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the throbbing of the bells ---

Of the bells, bells, bells ---

Keeping time, time, time, time,

As he knells, knells, knells,

In a happy Runic rhyme,

To the rolling of the bells ---

Of the bells, bells, bells: ---

To the tolling of the bells ---

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells ---

To he moaning and the groaning of the bells.
 

&/\&/\&


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